Hey, Indiana, thanks for making this series a little more exciting than we thought it’d be. But you can now pack your bags.
In the space of two games, Dwyane Wade found his shot and LeBron James found his testicles, and Miami have looked like the threatening juggernaut we witnessed all season, even without Chris Bosh. Things got pretty feisty today in Game 5 with a few flagrant fouls, one leading to some spilt blood from Wade. But the Heat didn’t back down from the physical attention, just as any great team shouldn’t, and went on to easily take care of business.
3 votes – LeBron James. What more can we say about LeBron? In this series so far he’s averaging 30-12-6 on 50% shooting, absolutely phenomenal numbers for anyone in the league other than LeBron, who of course makes them seem merely “above average”. It’s easy to be sceptical. Easy to dismiss these games and numbers until LeBron proves himself in the Finals and rights the wrongs of last year. But folks, let’s not lose sight of the fact that whatever happens from here on, LeBron has simply been fantastic in this series, and fantastic at responding to a lot of doubters and haters when the Heat were down 2-1. Simply put, you couldn’t ask LeBron to be doing anything more at this stage.
2 votes – Dwyane Wade. Similar to LeBron, has been spectacular the last two games and has helped completely turn this series. It was Wade’s 90-second burst in the third quarter of this game – a quick 5 points including a 3-point play – that turned the lead from “comfortable” to “blow out” and broke the Pacers’ spirits. That is the Dwyane Wade we’re used to seeing, and it looks like that horrific Game 3 may have been some sort of blessing in disguise that awoke Wade from his slumber.
1 vote – Shane Battier. You kind of knew this game was over once Shane Battier hit three triples in the first quarter. This is the same Shane Battier that his 2-19 threes so far in this series. His 13 points, 3 rebounds and 4-5 long range shooting resulted in arguably his best and most important game ever as a Heat player. Those are the kind of contributions that championship teams get. Someone from the Heat, whether its Battier or Chalmers or Miller, needs to get hot at least once or twice in every series. If that happens, the Heat can and will win the title this June.